NHL Handicapping: Weekend Hockey Betting Primer With Free Picks
by Dave Schwab - 3/2/2012
The race to this season’s NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs enters the month of March, and from here on in the games start to take-on a certain sense of urgency as teams continue to jockey for position in their respective conference.
When it comes to wagering on the games there have been certain teams that have consistently provided a profitable return on the money line. The following is our three ‘best bets’ for this Friday night in the NHL featuring a few of these proven money makers. All NHL odds are provided by BetOnline.
Chicago Blackhawks (+119) vs. Ottawa Senators (-131)
Total Line: 5.5
The Blackhawks fall from grace has been swift and dramatic with just five wins in their last 17 games. They are still 34-24-7 overall but 12-17-3 on the road overall and a dismal 2-9 in the last 11 road games. Chicago’s poor play as of late has contributed to a costly -590 return on the money line.
Ottawa continues to keep pressure on Boston for the top spot in the Northeast Division with a 7-2-1 record in its last 10 games to cut the lead to just three points. The Senators are now 34-23-8 overall and 17-12-3 at home. They have the third-best return on the money line at +1446.
This will be the first meeting this season between the two with Chicago holding a 4-1 edge in the last five meetings. Despite this trend, stick with the current form of each team as Ottawa takes full advantage of the Blackhawks’ inability to win on the road
The Pick: Ottawa 4, Chicago 2.
New York Rangers (-139) vs. Tampa Bay Lightning (+126)
Total Line: 5.5
New York continues to dominate the Eastern Conference with seven victories in its last 10 games and has extended its lead to eight points over Boston with a total of 88 points. The Rangers are 5-3 in their last eight games on the road and 20-8-4 overall. More impressive is their +1395 return on the money line, which is fourth-best in the NHL.
Tampa Bay’s 6-4 record in its last 10 games has it six points out of the final playoff spot in the East with a total of 64 points. The Lightning are 29-28-6 overall but a respectable 19-9-2 at home. The red flag on this team is a costly -2287 return on the money line, which is the second-worst in the league.
These two have met three times this season with the Rangers holding a 2-1 edge, winning once on the road as +108 underdogs early in the year and once at home as -177 favorites in early February. Overall, the favorite in this series is 11-4 in the last 15 meetings. Stick with the Rangers as a road favorite in a close one.
The Pick: New York 3, Tampa Bay 2
Dallas Stars (-101) vs. Edmonton Oilers (-109)
Total Line: 5.5
Dallas remains very much in the hunt in the Pacific Division with a total of 71 points, which is just four back of San Jose. The Stars are 33-26-5 overall but have had problems consistently putting the puck in the net with a goals-per-game average of 2.56. This has resulted in 32 of their 57 games to stay ‘under’ the total.
Edmonton is 4-5-1 in its last 10 games, but the team is basically riding out the string with an overall record of 25-32-6 and just 56 points on the year. The Oilers are averaging 2.64 goals per game, but they have only been able to tally a total of eight goals in their last five games at home.
These two have met twice this season with Dallas winning both by the score of 4-1 with the total line set at 5.5. The total has now stayed under in the last four meetings and in six of the last nine. This one stays well under the generous 5.5 line as both teams struggle to score this time around.
The Pick: UNDER
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